Football News‘Arsenal Looks the Best it Has For Some Time’ Says Oliver Holt
Post image

Despite their recent results, Arsenal’s bad days are outweighed by their good ones and Arsenal owners now need to back Arteta with the advances he’s made.

Arteta is now in his third year in charge at the club after taking over from Unai Emery and many had been hoping for more advances.

English football is a more impatient place than it has ever been and Thomas Tuchel is already feeling the heat at Chelsea even though he led them to victory in the Champions League final in Porto less than eight months ago.

Arteta has already survived at least one brush with the sack and now the questions have returned. The Liverpool defeat was a blow. There is no sugar-coating that.

Yes, it was only the Carabao Cup but it was also Arsenal’s last chance of silverware this season and there was a feeling that with Liverpool weakened by the absences of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, the tie represented an opportunity to progress to the final.

Arsenal never looked like seizing that opportunity. They were outclassed. Liverpool are still some way ahead of them in the evolutionary process but that is not a reason for anyone at Arsenal to press the panic button. They are starting from a low base but they are a team on the rise. They still have bad days but they are increasingly outweighed by the good ones. They need to stick with it.

That means sticking with Arteta, who is growing into the role all the time. It means not making a change and throwing everything up in the air. Look where that has got Manchester United. They are a mess of players brought for the different styles favoured by different managers.

Their team are less of a whole and more of a collection of desert islands with a few players marooned on each. Arsenal feel different. It feels as if they are more cohesive. And, for all their lapses of discipline, there is an optimism about the players Arsenal have that doesn’t exist at Old Trafford or, say, at Tottenham.

Arsenal have youth and they have flair. Who could fail to be excited by a team that can line up with Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Partey, Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney?

The club seem to see it that way too. They are said to be preparing to offer Arteta a new deal to avoid him entering the final 12 months of his contract or being targeted as a replacement for Pep Guardiola, when his old boss leaves City.

That should reassure Arsenal fans. It’s the right move.

It feels as if Arteta is building something at Arsenal. They finished eighth in both of his previous seasons but they will be higher at the end of this year.

They look healthier as a club than they have done for some time. After managerial misadventures, Spurs have put their hopes in the quick fix of Antonio Conte and United are mired in directionless toxicity. Arsenal look best placed to emerge from the pack and join the race with City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Whether that comes to pass depends on recruitment, of course. Arteta has emerged stronger from his confrontation with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but Arsenal need to prove they can replace him with a top-line forward, someone such as Fiorentina’s highly-rated young striker Dusan Vlahovic.

Arsenal’s owners need to prove now they have the ambition to back the advances Arteta has made.